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Startup 2017-02-03

Defining the status quo in design

Talking to Restaurant India, Saheba Singh, Director-This Is It Designs Pvt Ltd. Shares about her design goals.

By Deputy Features Editor
Defining the status quo in design

Disrupting the status quo

I think we are bringing a bit of the corporate edge to design which seems to be working very well for the projects and has been appreciated by our clients as well. Let me explain. Designing ideally is how you start the process. We burn the midnight oil and sketch and build it on paper. However, come morning and the ideal design needs to be broken down to a process. It needs to be documented, there needs to be an order to the drawings, a process to the communication and only then can a design be rendered the way it was imagined.

Our 13 odd years in the industry have taught us that the lack of implementation is what kills design in most cases and causes a discord amongst the client and consultant. I think we have successfully managed to bridge that gap and it has worked to our advantage. So to sum it up, our ability to finally bring design down to a process and quantify the deliverables-without diluting the design in any way is what will cause a ripple in the status quo.

Practicality of biz

Apart from the projects we have done and the spaces we have created, which we are deliriously proud of, I am extremely proud of the fact that I've been able to run my company like a business and yet not let the practicality of running an organization dilute design. We design from the heart and commission it ruthlessly. The ability to justify both, I believe has not only been my greatest achievement but also my greatest strength.

Overcoming challenges

There have been many. We came to a point in 2012 where we lost everything we had worked for since the beginning of my career and came crashing down and owed the market an amount that took us two years to pay back. That was an all time low. I was struggling to just stay afloat every month. The high point was paying off all our debts, and bouncing back and bagging some of the best projects the country had to offer in F&B after that. But what I feel was my biggest high point was managing to live those two crushing years with dignity and pride with my head held high and emerging out of it without anyone's help. I talk about it with a smile today but I remember living it out on my own that time and it was extremely overwhelming on most days. That experience has made me who I am today.

Expansion is on radar

So far our business has concentrated on design consultancy which does not require any external investment per say. We are however looking at floating two new ventures this year. One will be This It It Homes which will again be a design consultancy for houses and the other company will design and commission light installations. There will only be one of a kind and will be custom made to the client's needs and the space. We will see what kind of a growth pattern that has over this year and hopefully, we will be raising some external investment for that. We hope to take the brand global and we are already working on a few projects overseas.

Boasting the design

To take the brand global and represent India as a state to be reckoned with in Design. We hope to do product design, start a division for Interior styling, commission art installations, do concept based hotels and of course, my first love, put a restaurant designed by This Is It Designs in every corner of the planet. I want the name This Is It Designs to be addressed as a design firm that did its bit in tying together the countries and continents and cities in a small way. It's time that the lobby for Unity stood taller and stronger than the Lobby for War. Art and design plays a key role in that and I am hoping to contribute to that. 

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